from the Center for Biological Diversity
While in the human world it’s generally the youth that marches off to war, in the insect world it’s more often the old folks. A new discovery published this month in the journal Science explains that a colony of termites in French Guiana is no exception: Elderly termites, packed with blue, exploding crystals in their backs, will carry out suicide bombings to protect the nest from invaders. Termite dynamite begins to form just as the older wood-eaters’ nibbling mandibles wear away, and it’s supercharged in the oldest in the nest — giving new meaning to the term retirement–age baby boomers.
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